Autumn 2009 Features series
Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 4:00pm
Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 7:00pm
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Screenplay by Paolo Sorrentino
Starring Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Giulio Bosetti, Flavio Bucci
Rated 14A ·
Italy and France
Italian and English
Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Il Divo is the masterful new feature from acclaimed director Paolo Sorrentino. Reaching into the turbulent political history of post-war Italy, Sorrentino crafts a dazzling portrait of one of the country’s most complex and dubious political figures of the last fifty years.
Giulio Andreotti (Toni Servillo) entered politics in 1946 and went on to lead seven governments, turning his Christian Democratic party into a force that ran Italy in what was essentially a one-party system. It was a dark period of murder and assassinations during which politicians, judges and bankers were brutally removed from power. From the film’s opening moments, we are confronted with Andreotti’s tightly coiled, extremely controlled, almost emotionless field of energy. With a government overshadowed by allegations of Mafia connec tions, Andreotti successfully navigates the backroom channels of command but seems more interested in obtaining power than actually wielding it.
What is fascinating about Il Divo is the manner by which it eschews the traditional biopic format in favour of a far more focused, claustrophobic look at the man. Sorrentino does not skim the surface of Andreotti’s political accomplishments but rather explores the more private channels of his thoughts. The film tries to understand the inner workings and motives of the political figure, but as further details are revealed, more of the mystery remains.